Read The Honk and Holler Opening Soon by Billie Letts Online


Caney Paxton wanted his cafe to have the biggest and brightest sign in Eastern Oklahoma-the "opening soon" part was supposed to be just a removable, painted notice. But a fateful misunderstanding gave Vietnam vet Caney the flashiest joke in the entire state. Twelve years later, the once-busy highway is dead and the sign is as worn as Caney, who hasn't ventured outside theCaney Paxton wanted his cafe to have the biggest and brightest sign in Eastern Oklahoma-the "opening soon" part was supposed to be just a removable, painted notice. But a fateful misunderstanding gave Vietnam vet Caney the flashiest joke in the entire state. Twelve years later, the once-busy highway is dead and the sign is as worn as Caney, who hasn't ventured outside the diner since it opened. Then one blustery December day, a thirtyish Crow woman blows in with a three-legged dog in her arms and a long-buried secret on her mind. Hiring on as a carhop, Vena Takes Horse is soon shaking up business, the locals, and Caney's she teaches them all about generosity of spirit, love, and the possibility of promise-just like the sign says....

Title : The Honk and Holler Opening Soon
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780446675055
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Honk and Holler Opening Soon Reviews

  • Amanda Lyons
    2019-04-24 03:46

    Reading a Billie Letts books is like reading a Hallmark movie with none of the terrible dialogue and poor scripting. In each of her books you instead find valid characters, moving events and a great sense of both Oklahoma and the community these characters find there. All of these things are encompassed by a great story and succeed in conveying these things in a way that very few Hallmark films have ever been able to or honestly ever tried to do. In essence its feel good drama for the soul with only a smidgen of the guilt you get from watching the schmaltz on lifetime and other such networks. All that being said I have to say that while this was another good book from her I felt like it had a bit of either a rushed quality or an edge that indicated this was her real first novel a book written before Where the Heart Is the book that brought her major success and a film. How so? Well while all the characters are great and generally were conveyed well some of the plot lines never really played out as completely as they should have and as a result the book doesn't quite pack the punch you're hoping for in the end. I liked Bui as a character but also felt he seemed a bit stereotypically foreign and Vena's actions at the end of the book seem a bit nonsensical outside of completing her plot resolution about her sister Helen. Brenda also suffers as a character here because you end up wishing there was more to her story. The storyline with the bully Sam is also a bit rushed. With these things in mind the novel doesn't quite feel as polished and complete as Lett's first book and so leaves you wishing more had been done to complete and round out the story. As withWhere the Heart is

  • Brent
    2019-05-17 03:00

    This book pulled me in right from the start, held me tight for at least two thirds of the trip but eventually loosened its grip and dropped me, disappointed and alone, in the Oklahoma dust alongside Route 66. I stuck out my thumb as the eighteen wheelers and F-150s flew past but, try as I might, I just couldn't seem to catch a lift. Meanwhile, up the road a piece, the neon sign outside the Honk and Holler sputtered and went out.I was initially and immediately enthralled with the Honk's ensemble cast of characters. Each one is drawn with such care, having been given a personal arc and an individual and recognizable voice. The dialogue is superbly written. While the Honk and Holler Opening Soon is not nearly so epic in scope and is from a much different era, the fictional citizens of Sequoyah brought to my mind the characters from Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove.Possibly because I felt that relationship between the characters of the two books, I expected Honk to follow a different path and thus my disappointment when it didn't. By the end of the book it seemed that many of the characters' arcs were left hanging or forgotten as they became merely set pieces to a romance or a room full of extras singing Auld Lang Syne to Frank Capra's George Bailey.It is obvious from my rating that I didn't dislike this book, in fact there is much to recommend about it. It just didn't have the weightiness I expected. I guess I feel a bit duped, as if Wilma Driver just sold me a shiny new bungalow on a secluded cul de sac but which turned out to be a 40-year-old double-wide on a concrete pad next to the filling station.Hold on. Headlights. "Hey lady, where you headed? Can you give me a lift."

  • Jessaka
    2019-05-13 23:02

    I picked this book out for a new book group I just started at our library. I wanted to begin reading Oklahoma Reads like we did in the last book group that I attended. So, I went to the Oklahoma Reads website and found this book and then decided that we should read one book a year that was written by an Oklahoma writer or was at least set in Oklahoma. I wasn’t sure if I would like this book even though I had read Where the Heart Is years ago and found it entertaining. I was pleasantly surprised; I loved it, the way it was written and the characters. They reminded me of the people I knew in Creston, CA, where I lived for 5 years. Population 200. Cattle country. Pickups with gun racks and dogs in the back bed of the truck. You didn’t have to lock your truck, car, or even your house. One of our book group members said that it didn’t seem to her that the people in this book were real. I thought of her life and realized that she had never been around the kind of people that were portrayed in this book. While we live in a small town in Oklahoma, where this book takes place, not Sequoyah as in the book, just Oklahoma, it really depends on the circle of people with whom you associate. I grew up in a town like this. Of course, the people I grew up with were just going to high school, they were only beginning to develop their minds or not. It was in later years, when I moved to Creston, that I began to really know and love the people that were like the characters in this book. Billie Letts has created them perfectly, and she did this by sitting in a small café in a small town of Oklahoma. I think if our new book group finds a book on next year’s list that is horrible, I will suggest another book by Billie Letts.

  • ~*kath*~
    2019-05-21 00:33

    LOVED this book! I am a huge fan of Billie Letts now. I read Where the Heart Is many years ago and loved it, so I picked this one up in the US for something to read, didn't get to it until I got home but loved it the minute I started reading it. She creates the most wonderful characters, and like my other favourite author Tim Winton, her skill is in creating characters that are flawed but beautiful.

  • Dennis
    2019-04-29 04:02

    This is a great read because it's like the comfort food served at the Honk. By the end of the book I cared a great deal about these quirky characters and their marginal lives. I finished the book on a road trip where it was reported Billy Letts had died. Her writer's voice was one on most naturally genuine and full of heart on the landscape of American fiction. I salute Billy Letts and wish she would have lived to produce a larger body of work. Her voice will be sorely missed.

  • Marleen
    2019-05-01 01:55

    Billie Letts’ Honk and Holler Opening Soon is definitely one of my all-time top 50 favorite books. Re-reading it pleases me immensely. The reader is introduced to simple but genuine, quirky and amazingly touching characters. Most of them are regular customers and patrons of “The Honk & Holler (Opening Soon)”, as they come together mainly to drink coffee, have breakfast, lunch or dinner, and visit at this side-road café, owned by Caney Paxton, a war veteran. The majority of the characters living in Sequoyah, Oklahoma feel quite authentic; they are plain and decent people (sometimes eccentric) and that representation of "normal" folks appeals to me tremendously. This time around – rereading - I was mostly moved by Bui Kahn, the Vietnamese immigrant. That man has the purest soul. Contrary to the book blurb, I don’t think Vena Takes Horse is the one healing, or the force bringing people together - although she's an empathic soul, but rather that courageous little Vietnamese immigrant, barely mastering the English language, but touching everyone's heart. By the way, his turn of phrases in the English language are often hilarious. Strangely enough, you can’t put an age to Bui Kahn. You can’t put an age to most of the main characters really – you can only guess, and it's a bit like real life - not every fact is revealed. The events happening here are a slice of life. No more to it. Also to me, it’s so refreshing that an author invites you into the life of plain people, and each one of them have possibly a good story to tell.As a European, generally speaking, I haven’t been confronted with as many references to the Vietnam war. And it’s a topic I haven’t read much about, but here in this lovely little story, its repercussions are part of the scars people wear, and the author has a very fine way of briefly touching the subject and making it a part of the story.The only thing I can add at this point is: READ THIS BOOK and you won’t regret it. It’s an effortless and disarmingly charming read.

  • Bruce Smith
    2019-04-22 21:54

    This is at least the second time I've read this book, and it hasn't lost anything with age. It is still a good read with interesting characters. It is a bit funny, and yet contains real life problems, and real people working out their problems.

  • Miz
    2019-05-03 01:40

    This was a book that took me on a nice, winding journey. "Nice" being the optimal word. I didn't find it particularly amazing but there was SOME character development and the bad guy got his/her comeuppance. The Brenda storyline left me unsatisfied though, and while I released that not everything can be tied up in a nice tidy package, there were bits that didn't ring true for me - for example, the introduction and picture of my mind of Vena really didn't match up with eh outcome at the end of the book.I found Bui delightful though! Fav character by far.

  • Barb
    2019-04-25 03:35

    Good story line and character development. Like a literary version of TV shows like Cheers that center around a place but the rich characters are what drives the story! Enjoyed it :)

  • Jessika
    2019-05-19 00:56

    Ahh--now here is the type of book I've been waiting to sink my teeth into since summer rolled into town! I feel like every time I write a review, my main focus is on characterization, but for me, the characters and how I feel about them are what really make a book for me. An author can write with the most elegant prose on the face of the Earth, but if I can't feel a connection to the characters, I can't get into it. This is the first time I've ever read anything by Billie Letts, but I'm already anxious to read more. I have "Where The Heart Is" on my shelf, and I know I'll be reading that soon! There is something about the way she writes her characters--they are so authentic and real. This is a fiction novel that I would not have a hard time imagining actually taking place. Actually, it's kinda weird to think that Molly O isn't out there waiting on Brenda or that Caney isn't wheeling around the Honk somewhere. Letts fills you in about her characters in such subtle ways, too. It almost brings to mind how you get to know people in real life--you don't sit down and hear their life stories all at once (usually). Bits and pieces here and there are dished out to clue you in on a person, and that's how Letts writes her characters. Even her minor characters were paid due attention so that even the regular Joes who came to the Honk had a voice. The dialogue was to die for--I could "hear" each of the characters as they spoke. I just loved it. I was also kinda surprised by how fast of a read this was. I'd sit down and look up 150 pages later shocked that I had read that much in seemingly so little time. This is an incredibly "readable" novel. Letts is not heavy on the descriptive language--hers is a more straightforward style. But certain passages really did take my breath away, such as the part where (without giving too much away) Caney finally faces his demons and sees the world around him. I loved flipping back to those pages again and again to immerse myself in that simple and yet poignant writing. Overall, Billie Letts has given us a story that everyone can relate to. It is a story about regular people living their lives and yet discovering the meaning behind it as they go along.

  • L' Te
    2019-05-14 03:59

    Right off the top, I must confess that I hold a special place in my heart for stories that magically, profoundly, and brilliantly, bring together a collection of people that “normal” society has labeled “misfits”. Brown shriveled leaves, blowing with wild abandon and caught up in a maelstrom of loneliness and isolation. Emotionally crippled with the impossible reality of Never ... Never finding that place of belonging. No denying, Billie Letts has a special way of gathering these lost souls. Reverently placing them on the puzzle board of misshapen hearts, and having them fit together as the “Powers That Be” always intended. Society would have you blinded of there existence, let alone be troubled by having to acknowledge that they too have a right to be seen. Ah yes ... Most feel safe in the illusion that everyone is equal, but the ugly truth of it is that our “perfect society” is divided into - the ones that count, and the ones that don’t. If you happen to be of the latter ... Then sadly, you are nothing but grains of sand sifted through the bottomless cracks of society - totally, unreservedly - forgotten. Until ... That magic moment.For me, this is the true uncovering of fantasy. That magical moment of creating something immensely beautiful from all the discarded broken pieces that have been carelessly, cruelly, and arbitrarily pushed aside, or worse, rendered invisible, through the countless eyes of - The beautiful people.Billie Letts masterminds this extra ordinary collision at The Honk & Holler Opening Soon. Nothing more than a rundown diner in the middle of nowhere, USA. Sparsely populated by a motley collection of wounded souls going about the business of survival in the best way they can. Suddenly, this seemingly insignificant hole-in-the-wall transforms an endless existence into a meaningful life, by uncovering that mystical place where the wandering misfit belongs. Unconditionally accepted and cherished for the misshapen puzzle piece that you are. Because you finally fit. You are finally “seen”. You found that special place called home. Impossible Magic.

  • Anna Ligtenberg
    2019-05-13 04:44

    ISBN 0446675059 - I find myself put off by books that have a Reading Group Guide, which strikes me as wildly presumptuous on someone's part. That alone didn't have me thinking highly of this book, but it did get better.Caney Paxton, wheelchair bound but broken in far more important ways, returned home from Vietnam and opened a cafe. One drunken phone call changed the name from "The Honk and Holler" to "The Honk and Holler Opening Soon", a name that - considering the people it is home to - is more appropriate than you'd think. Caney lives in a room in the back and hasn't been out of the cafe since it opened. His waitress, Molly O, pines for the return of her high-school-dropout daughter, who ran off to seek fame and fortune as a country singer. The regulars come and go like clockwork, new customers are rare and nothing really ever happens. So when the door opens for Vera Takes Horse, no one is prepared for the changes she will bring to the Honk.A nice, if not particularly great, story about fairly average people whose dramas are bigger in their own minds than they are in reality, The Honk and Holler Opening Soon distracts the reader from the story with some of the unusual names and characters' weird behavior. Not a book I'd recommend, but it's not terrible, either.- AnnaLovesBooks

  • Carla Hostetter
    2019-05-20 22:54

    A group of the most down and out characters come together at the Honk and Holler cafe. Written over twenty years ago by the time I read it, it is a little dated. Caney, a paralyzed Vietnam vet owns and runs the little Oklahoma restaurant in the middle of nowhere. He never sets foot outside. The war is still fresh enough for a few folks to call the little oriental man who shows up looking for work a "gook." Bui soon makes himself valuable as does Vena, a female drifter who appears around Christmas carrying a maimed dog she found by the road. As Vena restores curbside service as a carhop, the cafe begins to thrive again. Molly O, the waitress who doubles as Caney's mother figure, takes a dislike to her but hardworking Vena, searching for her sister, soon grows on her by being a good listener to Molly's sad tales. They form an odd little family, helping and changing each other. Not an entirely happy ending, but close to it. Letts always finds the beating heart of America.

  • Theresa
    2019-04-24 21:54

    I always love to pick up and read a book by Billie Letts. While her characters are flawed and quirky they are only to a degree that makes them lovable and memorable. This book did not disappoint me. I was searching for an easy read with a "down home" feeling. (Also check out Sandra Dallas if you also love this type of story and characters) I really can't explain why it took so many years after this book came out for me to actually read except that I rarely see any of Ms. Letts' books on a discount rack. A huge problem for people like me. Her books are obviously perennial favorites without need for clearing but I'm a self described spendthrift (must be the Dutch in me haha) and rarely buy anything full price.

  • Nancy Brady
    2019-05-18 21:34

    A very character-driven novel which at its core is a love story. Flavored by distinctive characters, the restaurant provides the setting for the rebirth of the Vietnam vet, his employees and friends, and the welcome for two strangers who just add spice to the mix. Love Vena and Bui as characters who change the town (and Caney) for the better. Two errors seen: it should have been stent, not stint and jonboat, not johnboat.

  • Vicki Tate
    2019-05-13 21:38

    I really loved this book - it was a very quick read for me. I instantly became caught up in the lives of the crazy and quirky characters that inhabit the town of Sequoyah in Oklahoma and either work at or frequent the Honk and Holler. Letts does a fabulous job with the dialogue and the characters ring true. No great themes or layers of deep symbolism here, but definitely lots ofgood laughs and cries for the shenanigans of those that mingle regularly at the diner.

  • Molly
    2019-05-13 20:51

    This was a surprizingly good book- I would almost say "amazing" but it was more like super good. It is about a group of people (locals and 2 strangers) who's lives revolve around a small, remote town cafe mistakenly called Honk and Holler Opening Soon. Its a bit much to review, bit if you liked Where the Heart Is, you will most likely enjoy this book.

  • Teresa
    2019-04-24 03:46

    A sweet, but pretty predictable story set around a cafe with an unfortunate name. Can definitely see this on Lifetime VPChannel.

  • Hal
    2019-05-17 01:34

    I started reading this book this afternoon and stayed with it 'til I finished it late this evening. Needless to say I was enthralled by it -- all 371 pages of it.I won't make any attempt to summarize "Honk and Holler...." You easily can find a summary of it yourself, and, also, I don't want to spoil anything for you as Goodreads reviews have occasionally done for me.What makes this book so delightful are the characters delineated by the author's craftsmanship. You'll meet a young Vietnam vet confined to a wheelchair, who owns a nondescript cafe in a small Oklahoma town. Most of the people are lower-middle class, and some of them are persons marginalized by society. There's a young Indian woman, Vena Last Horse, who has lived on the edge of society's norms for most of her life. Then there's the Vietnamese refugee, B'iu, pining for his love and future wife, who is still stuck in Vietnam. Then there's Big Fib, who claims multiple abductions by aliens. And many others whose lives have come together from different places and for different reasons all to become a part of "Hoot and Holler." As B'iu says, "Boats goes where it going to go."It's a real "feel good" book.I'm very anxious to read more books by Billie Letts.

  • Louise
    2019-05-22 22:39

    Another great read from Billie Letts, author of Where The Heart Is.The Honk & Holler introduces us to some very interesting characters, their life in a small town cafe and a great story line.I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and look forward to Billie Letts' next book coming out in July 2004 called "Shoot The Moon".From the back cover:"Caney Paxton wanted his cafe to have the biggest and brightest sign in Eastern Oklahoma-the "opening soon" part was supposed to be just a removable, painted notice. But a fateful misunderstanding gave Vietnam vet Caney the flashiest joke in the entire state.Twelve years later, the once busy highway is dead, the joke is old, and the sign is as worn as Caney, who hasn't ventured outside the diner since it opened. The regulars at the Honk, still gabbing and crabbing over hot java and eggs easy, haven't changed much either. Then one blustery December day a thirtyish Crow woman blows in with a half-dead three-legged dog in her arms and a long buried secret on her mind. Hiring on as a carhop, Vena Takes Horse is soon shaking up business, the locals, and Caney's she teaches them all about generosity of spirit, love, and the possibility of promise-just like the sign says."

  • Sophia Musgrave
    2019-04-26 02:47

    Billie Letts has done it again. Taking a few unique characters she portrays real life emotions to common horrible situations. An unlikely group of friends, from Indians to a Vietnam war vet, Carney, in a wheelchair who is house bound yet runs a restaurant successfully and his friend/surrogate mother, Molly O, who is his only devoted waitress, and an emotionally scarred drifter who fixes hurt animals, Vena, yet who made some unwise choices for her own life; all of the characters have their own stories to tell. But this book ties the individual stories together in such a way that gives way to the overarching themes of finding love in the most unlikely places and families being created out of unlikely combinations. All together, it does not seem odd that when the jack of all trades for Honk and Holler Opending soon, a Vietnamese man learning English is injured in a heinous way, the whole little town pulls together as if he has always been one of their own. As usual in Letts stories, poverty and unexpected happiness go hand in hand, once again showing us that despite things seeming bad there is always a silver lining behind even the grayest clouds if only you believe it to be so!

  • Anna Marie
    2019-04-30 00:00

    My second favorite book in the ENTIRE world is 'Where the Heart Is' (DO NOT WATCH THE MOVIE - they *SLAUGHTER* the book). I'm quirky, though... and had to tape all of the Willie Jack chapters closed once he dumps Novalee, so that I could enjoy the novel.In this one? I didn't have to tape a THING shut. It was beautiful, descriptive, suspenseful, amusing, heart-rending, and perfect - completely Billie Letts - from start to finish.Caney Paxton was paralyzed in Vietnam. He was seventeen, and had been over there 42 minutes before it happened. After it happened, he came home, rehabbed, had his 'surrogate mother' Molly O helps him build a restaurant, and he went inside and didn't come out again for twelve years.But then one Christmas, everything changes, and the story brings together a vagabond Indian woman, a Vietnamese immigrant, an entire negro gospel congregation, a horse, and a three-legged dog. Not to mention dozens of other unbelievably interesting characters.Have I mentioned that I loved this? I loved this. I'm buying this...

  • Krissy
    2019-04-24 21:59

    I really didn't think I would like this book at first. It just didn't seem that interesting. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would, and I would definitely read other books by this author. I especially liked the Vietnamese character, Bui. He seemed so cute and I wish I knew someone like him.

  • Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
    2019-04-27 00:39

    People will meet other people during the course of their lives who will help them resolve the difficult issues they have been unable to solve by themselves. At least that's what I got out of this book.

  • Cindy
    2019-05-22 20:32

    I loved this book. The simplicity, yet complex lives of small town people. Ms. Letts led us through a journey where you fell in love with the characters and left you wanting more. I highly recommend!

  • Book Concierge
    2019-05-01 04:46

    Letts has a gift for dialogue. You can "hear" the voices of her characters: small-town whites, Vietnamese immigrants, elder Native Americans, preachers, diner cooks, car hops, etc. She's a joy to read.

  • Barb
    2019-04-29 22:37

    Funny and poignant. Likeable characters.

  • Marybeth
    2019-05-05 01:45

    Loved everything about this book!Fastest book I've read in awhile. I got attached to each character quickly and loved the way the author puts you right there in cafe. Great book!

  • Bridget
    2019-05-10 22:51

    One of my all time greatest ever in the world books. Must read it again one day.

  • Sarah Anderson
    2019-05-12 23:58

    Couldn't put this one down...